Pastor – Reverend Sam Halverson
An elder in the UMC since 1988, Sam has served as a staff youth minister in local churches for more than 40 years. His appointments have been in three conferences (North Georgia, North Texas, and West Ohio) in small and large churches. Here in the North Georgia Conference, Sam has served appointments at Northbrook UMC (Roswell), Mt. Bethel UMC (Marietta), and Hickory Flat UMC (near Canton). Since 2012 Sam has served on the North Georgia Conference staff as Associate Director for the Center for Congregational Excellence where he has resourced and supported youth and young adult ministries for churches all over North Georgia.
Lay Leader & Music Director – Flo Douglas
Flo is a life-long United Methodist. She came to Hopewell as the director of music in 2006 and relished nine years serving in that position. She is now honored to serve as the Lay Leader, seeking to have an understanding of Hopewell and its congregation and its vision, and helping the church live out it’s God-given mission of being a beacon on this hill. Flo and Curt are grateful to be a part of the Hopewell family and to worship and serve here. We encourage others to join us in this special place.
It might surprise you to know that Flo has an associate’s degree in architectural drafting. &
Lay Member & Music Director – Jan Anderson
Jan Marie Anderson was born in Pontiac, Michigan She moved to New Port Richey, Florida when she was 10 years old. After attending Pasco Hernando Community college for two years she went to Brewton-Parker College in Mr. Vernon, Georgia. Jan graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood. After working a few years she went and got a Master’s degree in Education from GC&SU. She also has a Gifted Endorsement and a Reading endorsement.
Jan moved to Milledgeville, Georgia in 1991 to teach Kindergarten at M.E. Lewis Elementary School. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church when it was downtown and where it is currently on Log Cabin Road. After 10 years of driving back and forth to work, Jan started teaching 1st grade at Midway Elementary School. Jan bought a house in Logan’s Bluff off of Stembridge Road. Her neighbor set her up on a blind date with Andy Anderson (co-worker of the neighbor). A year later they eloped in Helen, Georgia. A year after that John the IV was born. Two years later Noah was born. The family would travel from UMC (Sunday School) to Hopewell (church service) every Sunday. After a few years of back and forth, the family settled in at Hopewell Methodist Church. Jan moved her membership to Hopewell, and both boys went through the confirmation classes and joined the church as well.
Jan has always been musical. She has always sang in a choir …probably before she could talk, she sang!! Jan learned the basics of piano at a young age, played instruments (recorder, clarinet, cymbals, xylophone, and bass clarinet) throughout school, and learned how to play the tenor saxophone in college so she could be in the jazz band.
Jan sang with the Hopewell choir and played in the Hopewell handbell choir. When the Pandemic hit, Jan and another bell ringer made sure that the bells were heard almost every Sunday. When the Pandemic calmed down and the choir would start singing with the congregation Hopewell did not have a song leader. Jan volunteered to help out with the leading of the hymns with the congregation until a Choir Director could be hired.
Jan has retired now from teaching and is more involved with the workings at Hopewell and has been a wonderful addition to our staff.
Lay Member of the Annual Conference – Jeanene Vinson
Jeanene was born in Americus, Georgia, where there were three girls. When the baby was six months old, Mother and the girls moved to Stevens Pottery, Georgia, to be near family. Jeanene graduated from Peabody High School in 1955. In August of 1956 she moved her church letter to Hopewell United Methodist Church. On September 23, 1956, she married the love of her life, Alvin, at Hopewell. A job at J. P. Stevens & Company, Inc., starting on January 2, 1956, began a 39 year career as a secretary that included time there, as well as at First Presbyterian Church, and Elliot’s TV, Microwave and Computers. She retired from Chambers Cleaners at the age of 75. She has three daughters, two by birth and one taken in as a teenager whom she had known most of her life. She came to Jeanene needing a safe place to be. There are now six grandchildren on earth and one in heaven and ten great-grandchildren. Most people do not know that her first name is Betty.
Pianist – Becky Cooper
Becky Cooper was born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia Military College High School and then from Georgia College with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with majors in Accounting and Management. She also graduated from Georgia College with a Master of Business Administration degree. She is employed at a local bank.
Becky has attended Hopewell United Methodist Church since “before she was born.” She grew up in Sunday School and the United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF). She has been a member of the Adult I Sunday School class since she was in college. She has even been in the same Sunday School class with her parents and grandparents.
Becky received her piano for Christmas when she was eight years old and in the third grade. She started taking piano lessons two days after she received her piano and has continued taking lessons until she graduated from high school. She started playing the clarinet when she was in the fifth grade and also played until she graduated from high school.
Becky served as Hopewell’s pianist from 1995 until 1998 and then played for the morning and evening worship services, the children’s choir, and the adult choir. She became interim pianist in May 2017. She assumed the role of Hopewell’s pianist in October 2017.
A few interesting facts about Becky: Her great-great-grandfather, Constantine Banner Anderson, was one of the founding ministers of Hopewell United Methodist Church. Becky has a 29-year perfect Sunday School attendance pin. Her perfect attendance began when she was eight years old and continued until the Sunday before she married Anthony.
Financial Services – Julie Lavender
Julie was born and raised in Laurens County in the small town of Dudley. She moved to Milledgeville in 1982 and attended Georgia College where she received her BBA in Marketing. Julie first worked for Philip Morris, Inc., for ten years as a Territory Sales Manager before opening up L & L Farm Mart, a local feed and seed store. She owned and operated this business for 14 years. After selling the store, Julie went to work at Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and her current position is Records Clerk. She’s been employed their for five years and counting.
Julie met and married a local guy, Greg, in 1986 and has been married for 32 years. They have one daughter, Logan. In her spare time she enjoys working outside and planting flowers, spending time with family and friends, and especially playing with her dogs . . . and there’s lots of them!!!!